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Thursday, March 9, 2000

Eagles seek better start in Midland

PECOS, Mar. 9, 2000 -- More often than not in the past few seasons, the March West Texas Classic in Midland has been the defining point in the Pecos Eagles' baseball season.

Several times, the Eagles' season has taken a downward turn at Midland they were unable to pull out of when district play arrived a short time later.

Last year, the Eagles hit their low point of the season in the middle of the three-day tournament, a 12-0 loss to Colorado City. But they were able to turn things around the following day with a 13-3 win over Muleshoe, which began a 14-game winning streak that would help carry them to the Region I-4A semifinals.

"I told them not to tense up, just to go out there and play ball," Eagles' coach Bubba Williams said following last year's tournament game, which was for 11th place in the standings.

This time around, the Eagles appear a lot more relaxed, and will be looking to finish much higher than 11th place, as they enter the opening game of the 2000 West Texas Classic, at 4:30 p.m. today against Alpine at Christensen Stadium.

After opening the season with a 2-1 loss to Monahans, Pecos has reeled off five straight wins, including last Saturday's 11-3 victory over the Loboes.

Pecos started off the tournament with a 15-2 win over Alpine, which committed a series of mistakes to help Pecos go out to a big lead. "This week they'll have a couple of pitchers back, so it should be a better ballgame," said Williams, who plans to start Pifi Montoya against the Bucks this afternoon.

Track teams head for Odessa, San Eli

PECOS, Mar. 9, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagle girls track team will get a look at the site of next month's District 2-4A track meet, while Pecos' boys will get a look at some of the top Class 4A teams in West Texas this weekend, in meets at San Elizario and Odessa.

The girls will be going to the San Elizario Invitational on Saturday, while the boys have trips both Friday and Saturday to the West Texas Relays in Odessa. That meet will start with running event preliminaries and field event finals at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and continue with field events at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and the running finals, starting with the 3200 meters, at 11:45 a.m.

Coach Ron Arnesen said he would have two runners, Craig Wein and Nolan Blount, in the distance races, while Dulces Guerrero, Daniel Terrazas and Jason Payne would run in the 400 meters and be part of the mile relay with Len Carson. Terrazas finished second last week in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes at the Comanche Relays, while Payne was ill on Saturday, Arnesen said, costing him a chance at a medal in the 400.

both runners will also be entered in the 200 meters, while Guerrero will run in the 100 meters and Carson will be entered in the 800 meters and 300 intermediate hurdles on Friday. In the field events, Payne and Guerrero will be in the long jump and Micha Huffman will be entered in the discus and shot put.

Terrazas may be able to split time between track and baseball this weekend, with the Eagles playing in Midland this weekend. Coach Lily Talamantez is hoping to do the same with several of her girls this weekend, when they run in San Elizario.

"We're going to try and share some with softball, because they're going to be there also," she said. The Eagles' softball team will play at Canutillo at 2 p.m. CST on Saturday, about four hours after the start of the track meet.

Like the boys, the girls finished with 20 points a week ago at Fort Stockton, with their best finishes coming from Christina Arenivas and Kelsey Holt, who earned thirds in the long jump and 3200 meter run at the Comanche Relays.

Talamantez said most of the Eagles' District 2-4A rivals will be at this weekend's track meet. San Elizario will host the district meet this year, on April 7-8.

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